Brock prof says private sector weed sales wouldnt be a bad thing

A change in how Ontario sells legal cannabis could be a good thing in the fight against illicit marijuana sales, according to a Brock University business professor.Michael Armstrong, Associate Professor in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, points out that the change from public to private retailers selling legal cannabis is still a rumour, but a plausible one at this point.“Opening Ontario cannabis retailing in part or in whole to the private sector would greatly improve the ability of legal cannabis to compete here with illicit weed,” says Armstrong, who has written opinion columns on the subject and is available for interviews today, Friday, July 27. “It would also offer consumers the most convenience.”But Armstrong says he’s not sure Ontario could have the regulations or enforcement apparatus set up in time for the Oct. 17 legalization date for cannabis in Canada.“Given the late stage we’re at, the best approach would be to allow licensed cannabis growers to open ‘greenhouse outlet’ stores at each of their production sites. Such growers have already been vetted by Health Canada and clearly would know their products well. Other retailers could be added at a later date,” Armstrong says, adding that Ontario appears to be one of the least prepared provinces for the upcoming legalization.He says the planned count of 40 retail stores across the province for 2018 and 150 by 2020 is insufficient to compete with the black market at serving Ontario’s large population.

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